Magazine article Variety

Remembering Gary Glasberg

Magazine article Variety

Remembering Gary Glasberg

Article excerpt

he was A great cook who loved making pancakes for his two sons. He was the showrunner of one of TV's most high-octane dramas but in his downtime was mesmerized by HGTV He was the kind of guy who never let anyone stand awkwardly alone at a party even if he wasn't the host.

More than anything else, Gary Glasberg, the "NCIS" showrunner and "NCIS: New Orleans" creator who died unexpectedly in his sleep Sept. 28 at age 50, is remembered by friends and colleagues as a warm, kind, generous soul.

"His sense of humor and deeply compassionate nature made him a great writer, for sure, but more important, one of the greatest friends or family members you could ever hope to have," says producer Sarah Timberman, a longtime friend of Glasberg and his wife, writer/producer Mimi Schmir. "It's hard to put into words the loss suffered by all who love him."

David Stapf, president of "NCIS" producer CBS Television Studios, says he often turned to Glasberg for advice. "He was a touchstone for me. He was a guy who always kept life in perspective." The two spoke by phone nearly every day, including the day before Glasberg's death.

"For me, Gary would have been the guy I called when something like this happened," Stapf says. "He was a really good listener. That was one of the things that made him a great showrunner."

Glasberg started his career in the 1980s as a writer of comic books and children's animated series, before moving into primetime drama. He worked his way up the ladder in the mid-1990s at a time when writers had to pay their dues for years before getting a shot at showrunning or fielding their own pilots. The experience of working on many shortlived series helped Glasberg stay humble about the stature he achieved with "NCIS." He joined the CBS drama in 2009 and was upped to showrunner the following year. On his watch, "NCIS" solidified its status as primetime's most-watched drama series and a global juggernaut. In 2014, he created the spinoff "NCIS: New Orleans."

"He worked really, really hard," says Showtime Networks CEO David Nevins, another longtime friend. "He was driving the biggest freight train in worldwide television, and he really appreciated his success."

As a writer, Glasberg was adept at working out plot twists and long story arcs. …

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